The current news that the Student Council at UC Irvine want to remove the American Flag from their campus – brought to mind the character, Nolan, a military officer in the short story by Edward Everrett Hale, “The Man Without A Country.”
After being taken to task for being part of a treasonous conspiracy, Nolan says, “Damn the United States, I wish I may never hear of the United States again!” He is then sentenced to live out his life aboard US Navy ships where care is taken that he never hears the name of the United States again. As he ages, his love for the country he has damned grows beyond measure.
A similar fate, perhaps, would be a fitting destiny for those students who find the sight of the US flag so distressing.
I don’t suppose “The Man Without A Country” is on the reading list at Irvine.

Old Glory

“Think of your home, boy; write and send, and talk about it. Let it be nearer and nearer to your thought, the farther you have to travel from it; and rush back to it when you are free, as that poor black slave is doing now. And for your country, boy,” and the words rattled in his throat, “and for that flag,” and he pointed to the ship, “never dream a dream but of serving her as she bids you, though the service carry you through a thousand hells. No matter what happens to you, no more matter who flatters you or who abuses you, never look at another flag, never let a night pass but you pray God to bless that flag.” Philip Nolan in “THE MAN WITH OUT A COUNTRY.”

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